“The capsaicin in peppers is known to help fight inflammation. Peppers are also a good source of vitamin C, a known potential cancer-fighting agent”. That’s what Lona Sandon, registered dietician and assistant professor of clinical nutrition from the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) said after reading a new study.
The study in question has revealed that people who regularly eat spicy meals, live longer lives. The conclusion should not come as a big surprise as professor Sandon also informed that spices have a high amount of potent antioxidants which have previously been found to fight off heart disease, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
And now, an international team of researchers has concluded that regularly eating spicy foods reduces a person’s risk of experiencing premature death and generally keeps them healthier.
For their study, the team picked out 487.375 subjects with the age ranging from 30 and 79, and tracked them for roughly 7.2 years.
What they found was that the subjects who ate spicy foods three (3), four (4) or five (5) times a week were 14 percent (14%) less likely to die while the study was still being conducted.
And test subjects who ate spicy foods just once or twice a week were 10 percent (10%) less likely to die while the study was still being conducted.
But the most remarkable finding of all is that that the subjects who ate spicy foods six (6) or seven (7) times a week had 29 percent (29%) less of a chance of dying because of respiratory diseases, 22 percent (22%) less of a chance of dying beaus of ischemic heart disease, 8 percent (8%) less of a chance of dying because of cancer, and 14 percent (14%) less of a chance of dying because of any other cause while the study was still being conducted.
Dr. Lu Qi, associate professor of medicine from the Harvard School Of Medicine and study lead author, gave a statement stressing how simple the finding is: the more spicy food that you eat, the healthier you’ll be. Consuming a good amount of spicy food also drastically reduces your chances of experiencing a premature death.
To reach this conclusion, Dr. Qi and her colleagues asked subjects about their dietary habits, lifestyle choices and health histories. These answers were then compared to death records so that the researchers could see whether they can find a correlation or not.
As a measure of control they also took into consideration the subjects’ age and gender, but the findings stayed the same.
When the experts started looking at men and women separately, they noticed that spicy foods have an extra benefit for women – they help women fight off infections. The team said that the more often a woman consumed spicy meals, the more her chances of dying from infections lowered.
Statistically speaking, the female subjects who ate spicy meals the most often were 45 percent (45%) less likely to die because of an infection.
Men, on the other hand, did not show any link whatsoever to this extra benefit.
It’s important to note that the test subjects who chose to eat fresh chili peppers instead of dried chili pepper, chili oil or chili sauce proved to be even less likely to experience premature death due to cancer, type 2 diabetes or heart disease. The reason is that fresh chili peppers are richer in capsaicin, vitamins (A, B6, C, K) and nutrients (potassium).
The study was published on August 4, 2015, in the journal BMJ.
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